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Career Toolkit for students

Do you have a resume? Need help with your resume? For help with your resume and interview prep schedule and appointment with a Career Center Specialist today, contact the Career Center at 1-805-922-6966 ext. 3374.

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Network or Not Work

Networking involves talking with people you know about the kind of job or internship you are seeking.

Remember…The more people you talk with, the more contacts you will make.

Networking begins with your current circle of friends and connections. Simply build and enhance this network by asking each friend to recommend two new people for you to talk to about your job or internship search. Think about the last time you made an important decision. That decision was made by researching the topic and talking with other people. Generally, the more people you talk to the more informed you become. This process leads to better decision making! Apply the concept to employer research. You want to learn about potential employers – so talk to people.

Personal Branding

(PricewaterhouseCoopers, The Foundation of Your Personal Brand, 2010)


  • Know your goals, accomplishments, strengths, and weaknesses
  • Know how to communicate them concisely and professionally
  • Develop a 30 second elevator speech and practice until you can confidently convey this information about yourself


  • Mentally list your priorities and goals
  • Consider who you are and what you really want
  • Seek out the assistance of a friend or family member that knows you well
  • Take a career or personality assessment
  • The Career Center can assist you with this, feel free to call 1-805-922-6966 ext. 3374


  • Consider a business card as a tiny portable marketing piece
  • Include your contact information, and keep the design simple and professional


  • Facebook. Twitter. Blogs. GOOGLE
  • It is just as important to be online as it is to maintain a clean and professional online presence
  • Protecting your online reputation is critical for obtaining and advancing your career
  • Employers are increasingly using search engines and social networking websites to locate material that can give them a sense of your character and integrity
  • Don’t be your own worst enemy! Spring clean your online image and use tools like to network with professionals in your field
  • “…If you are not on LinkedIn, you don’t exist.”Wendy Enelow, author of “Best Resumes for $100,000 + Jobs”


  • Your brand is not a “one-it-and-done-it” kind of investment.
  • Continually assess your professional wardrobe, business cards, resume, and online identity to ensure that you are “walking the walk.”
  • Be yourself, be disciplined, and you will be an asset!

Developing an  Elevator Speech

An elevator speech is a concise and memorable introductory statement that quickly conveys important and interesting information about you. It should be possible to deliver the summary in the time span of an elevator ride, or approximately thirty seconds and no more than two minutes. Most organizations are typically interested in your name, college/university, year in school, and major.

  • Opportunities sought
  • Relevant experience
  • Highlights of skills and strengths
  • Knowledge of the company

We suggest knowing your audience and knowing yourself, including key strengths, adjectives that describe you, a description of what you are trying to let others know about you, and a statement of your interest in the company or industry the person represents. Armed with that knowledge, the job-seeker can then outline the Elevator Speech using these questions:

Who am I? What do I offer? What problem is solved? What are the main contributions I can make? What should the listener do as a result of hearing this?


  • Smile to your counterpart, and open with a statement or question that grabs their attention: a hook that prompts your listener to ask questions.
  • Tell who you are.
  • Tell what you do and show enthusiasm.


  • Tell what problems you have solved or contributions you have made.
  • Offer a vivid example.
  • Tell why you are interested in your listener (looking for a job/internship!).


  • Discuss what very special service, product or solutions you can offer him or her.
  • What are the advantages of working with you – What are your best qualities?


  • Give a concrete example or tell a short story, show your uniqueness and provide illustrations on how you work.


Step 1: First write down all that comes to mind

Step 2: Then cut the jargon and details. Make strong short and powerful sentences. Eliminate unnecessary words.

Step 3: Connect phrases to each other. Your elevator address has to flow natural and smoothly. Don’t rush.

Step 4: Work on remembering key points and practice. You don’t want to sound memorized.

Step 5: Create different versions of your elevator speech for different business situations.


  • Your posture
  • Make eye contact
  • Your tone of voice (don’t be too loud or not loud enough, and be polite!)
  • Handshake (firm, but not too firm)
  • Clothing (professional is best)
  • Facial expressions (your face tells a story too)
  • “Um’s” and “uh’s”

Dress for Success

You have only one chance to make a first impression!


  • Makeup should be minimal and natural – no smoky-eye or red lipstick
  • Neutral shades and a single coat of mascara is appropriate
  • Either pants (slacks, not jeans) or skirts are acceptable.
  • A variety of tops, including blouses and sweaters, may be worn as long as they are comfortable, flattering and fit well
  • No textured hosiery/tights (lace, snowflake, etc.)
  • Clean nails are a must. If you wear nail polish, choose a natural shade of color – no neon.
  • Skip the perfume for the day.
  • Closed toe shoes – no more than 2 inch heels
  • Jewelry should be modest


  • Clean shaven. If you wear facial hair, make sure it is well-groomed.
  • Clean hands and nails
  • Skip the cologne for the day
  • Dress or khaki slacks (not jeans) are acceptable.
  • A sweater or nice collared shirt without a tie is acceptable
  • Belt should be simple and coordinate with shoes
  • Nice, comfortable shoes with socks – no flip flops

Looking for FREE business casual clothing, visit our Career Closet.